Education during COVID-19
Last updated: 2 June 2020
Advice, resources and announcements for schools, students and parents during COVID-19 pandemic
Educators across the UK are now dealing with new challenges as schools and universities close for an indefinite period. One of the priorities of the Society is to support Biology education through primary, secondary, further and higher education.
We will regularly update this page with useful resources and advice for students and parents, along with announcements from the educating sector.
- Latest education news and policy engagement from the RSB
- Free resources from the RSB
- Online resources from our member organisations and other science organisations
- Advice for students and parents during COVID-19 pandemic
- Education announcements during COVID-19 pandemic
During this uncertain time we will:
- Summarise education announcements from UK governments and awarding bodies
- Work with our policy partners in science organisations, government and awarding bodies to seek the best advice and advocate the best outcomes for teachers and students
- Collate and share advice for students and parents looking towards next academic year
- Highlight useful resources for teachers and students through our monthly BioEd newsletter for those teaching 5 – 19 biology
- Disseminate resources from our networks (special interest groups, committees and member organisations) that may be useful for students, parents or teachers facilitating remote learning.
- Make existing RSB resources freely available for students and parents, to ensure students remain engaged with biology.
All schools are to close in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales by the end of this week | 20 March 2020
The Royal Society of Biology regularly responds to consultations and calls for evidence from government and regulatory bodies. During this period of uncertainty we have focused on health and safety of UK pupils, students and staff, how to support students to progress to the next stage of education, and policies needed to ensure bioscience education in 2020/21 and beyond is not detrimentally impacted by ongoing disruptions due to the pandemic.
April 2020 RSB response to Ofqual consultation on exceptional arrangements for GCSE and A level grading and assessment in 2020
May 2020 RSB response to Ofqual consultation on extraordinary framework for vocational and technical qualifications Learned Societies Group joint letter to the Scottish Government COVID-19 Education Recovery Group on a reduction in examinable course content for 2020/21
RSB are drafting a response to the Ofqual consultation on an autumn exam series in England RSB are drafting a submission to the House of Commons Education Select Committee on the impact of COVID-19 on education and children's services Learned Societies Group are drafting a joint response with the Royal Society of Edinburgh to the Education and Skills Committee on reopening of schools
To assist during the pandemic, schools and colleges can access our digital archive for free until 1st October 2020.
Teachers can sign up and request access online via our publishers, and also access other magazines including Chemistry World, BBC History Magazine, BBC Science Magazine and The World Today.
Gopher Science Lab
Our Gopher science lab project was designed so that primary and secondary students, could deliver science activities to primary pupils.
The activities in resource booklet one can be carried out with everyday household objects, with the booklet providing instructions, a short explanation and questions that you may wish to ask a primary age student. Our Gopher Science online training is now free for parents to access for six months, and we have produced a parent explainer describing how the booklet and training can be used.
Intermediate Biology Olympiad 2020
Teachers can register their students aged 16-17 for the Intermediate Biology Olympiad 2020. Students will need to be invigilated when taking the paper, either virtually by a teacher or at home by a parent/guardian.
Other RSB online resources
Check out our student information webpage about careers and school competitions.
All our existing primary, secondary and careers resources for teachers can also be accessed via our web page for teachers.
Our Outreach and Engagement team pages contain a variety of free activity resources for suggested age ranges
- Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour - primary, secondary and higher education resource hubs
- Association for Science Education – The ASE coronavirus hub
- Biochemical society - Biochemistry booklets introducing concepts to 16+
- British Neuroscience Association - interactive neuroscience webinars and resources mapped to biology syllabus across the UK
- British Society for Immunology - new selection of public engagement practical activities and educational resources
- Field Studies Council - digital resources and recorded fieldwork sessions and activities for primary children
- Institute of Physics – Supporting schools and colleges during COVID-19
- National Physical Laboratory - Measurement at home weekly challenges
- Physiological society - Coronavirus information page
- Royal Society of Chemistry – Remote teaching support
- Society for Experimental Biology - Collection of bioscience educational resources